Saturday, September 24, 2016

1st F-35 for Japan rolls out

Lockheed Martin rolled out the first 42 F-35As ordered by the Japan Air Self Defense Forces to replace a nearly 80-strong fleet of McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms. The event was attended by about 400 representatives from both countries and corporate officials. Lockheed will build the first four Japanese jets in Fort Worth, AX-1 through AX-4, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will produce the remaining 38 under license at its Nagoya facility. MHI, which built Tokyo’s fleet of Boeing F-15Js under license, won the 2011 competition to build the F-35A. Maintenance training is already underway for the first Japanese Air Defense technicians at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and the first Japanese pilots will begin training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in November. (Source: Flightglobal, Lockheed Martin, 09/23/16)